Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The trouble with 50 Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey, by EL James
For those not in the know, 50 shades of Grey began life as an AU Twilight Fanfiction, casting Edward as the human Dominant and Bella as his Submissive. It was very popular and since being published by a twilight fanfic publishing house (with names changed to Christian and Anastasia and a few other details altered) it has broken records and made headlines across the world. It was just bought by Vintage (an imprint of Random House) for a 7 figure sum.

Love it or loath it, everyone is talking about 50 Shades of Grey.

I wont comment on the fanfic element because many others have done that and besides, I don't believe that fanfic writes are inherently bad writers. What does trouble me though, if the BDSM elements. In case you're an innocent, that's Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism.

The 'sadism' in that acronym should give you an idea where this is heading. In case you think that BDSM is all rollplay and tie and tease, let me assure you, it isn't.


This is what true BDSM is. Is this love?   Or this?   Is this sexy?   Maybe it's better if they bleed?   Perhaps humiliation is more your kink?   Nothing says 'I love you' like making your beloved sleep in a dog cage.

Think of someone you love but not in a sexual way (mother, daughter, sister, brother, father, niece, nephew, friend). How would you feel if someone did this to them?  If you're anything like me, you'd want to rip their heads off, even if your loved one consented!

I'm open minded when it comes to sex; I think prostitution should be legalised; I've tried most things before I decide I don't like then, and while I think the porn industry legislation should be tightened, it's only to protect workers from being misused and to protect the young.

This book isn't about kinky sex though, it's about sado-masochism but whenever anyone has a problem with the BDSM elements in this book, someone comes out crying "but it's consensual!" EL James even says that as long as it's "safe, sane and consensual", it's okay.

I'm sorry, but that's not a good enough excuse, nor is it a legal excuse. As a British woman, EL James should know that the law here doesn't recognise ones rights to consent to physical harm. I know someone who consented to be raped, because she was frightened about what he'd do to her kids if she protested and they woke up. Does that make it okay?

There was a time when women were property and most women considered that to be perfectly fine; men were stronger, they should be our protectors. Book after book was written by well respected men, reinforcing how inferior we were to men, in intelligence, temperament, constitution and many other ways. When the suffragettes were campaigning for the vote, many women disagreed not just with their methods but also with their cause! They consented to be second class citizens.

You see, it's not only men who are sexist; because of the environment we are raised in, women can be just as guilty. For too long we have been second class citizens and those messages still exist in society and have echoed down through the generations.

Consent is all very well but just because you consent to something, doesn't make it right. How many people self harm? No one is forcing them to, so are we to assume by that logic that self harm okay? If not, how can allowing another person to do you physical or mental harm ever be all right, even if it is consensual? It's just self harm by proxy. Look at those images above, how can you pretend that even with consent, it's not harmful? 

Or is it that because a man is getting sexual gratification from a woman's pain, it's somehow okay?

Have we really progressed so little in our thinking that we are still willing to subjugate our own needs and endure unnecessary pain so that our men might be happy? How is that healthy for anyone?

Were the roles reversed, and a woman was seducing a man into consensual whippings and being dominated, would you still find it as sexy? If not, why not?

Twilight, the saga 50 Shades is based on
Perhaps because subconsciously, you have absorbed the same messages many of us have, that a woman's natural role is submissive. I too received those messages, but I am aware of my own innate sexism and allow my head to do my thinking for me, rather than my emotions.

In my opinion, Twilight was troubling in it's representation of relationships, but even more so in it's representation of Bella, who literally falls apart when Edward leaves her! However, when Bella is finally made a vampire and becomes Edward's equal, he is no longer over protective and domineering. Plus her 'gift' surpassed all the other vampire's powers so all in all, I forgave those books their flaws, hoping that young readers would see that Edward isn't human, and wanting a relationship like that is an impossibility.

50 shades is teaching a new generation that being submissive is not only okay, that it can be great! I fail to see how the female Sub character will ever reach equality with her Dom, as Bella did with Edward. How can this kind of relationship ever be healthy and equal?

That is not a message I want to pass onto my children, or any woman for that matter.

Read this series if you must, there's nothing wrong with fantasy, but never forget that it's messages are extremely sexist and damaging, especially to those who are young. And this book is a fanfic based on a YA novel, of course children are reading it; if not in it's current form, certainly when it was a still just a fanfic hosted on fan websites.

ETA 14/04/12: Having discussed this book and it's ending with someone who has read it, what worries me most about this series now is the "she can change him" aspect.

What an evil, pervasive little piece of fiction that is. Just yesterday I watched an interview on the BBC with a woman who was blinded by her boyfriend; he gouged her eyes out and then held her captive for another 12 hours. He had been abusive before, obviously, and she had protected him, believing that she could change him. That's far from the first time that I've heard that from an abuse victim, though it is the most recent and one of the worst.

Still, were this just fanfic or erotica I probably wouldn't mind so much, but that fact that this is going mainstream, that it has been bought by (and therefore approved of) by Random House, that it has a film deal in the pipeline... That takes it away from a sexual fetish and makes it acceptable. It reinforces all these awful stereotypes about women, that we are submissive, that we are nurturing, that the love of a good woman can change a man, that enduring pain (physical or emotional) is what we do and it's even better when we endure that for our men because, after all, what's the point of life without a man?

Although this relationship would be just as fucked up were it a man submitting to a woman, I can't help but think that it wouldn't have even a fraction of it's current popularity, because it wouldn't play along with our current gender norms.

Related: The Trouble with Twilight 


  1. I said a lot about this elsewhere and I have a lot of problems with it just as a work of prose, but the real power issues in the book are all financial. How is Ana supposed to deal with someone like Christian on that level? You hit right on my main problem with Twilight.

    1. I don't expect fiction to be less sexist than modern day life, and as such I doubt that the financial differences would bother me. Personally I wouldn't like such an unequal financial arrangement, but many women marry wealthier man, and indeed there are more than a few who will marry only for money, seeming content to be little more than arm candy with a large allowance.

      I don't agree with it but it happens a lot and is considered okay, of not normal. A hangover from the days when men were traditionally the breadwinners, I suppose.

      I'm re-reading Twilight saga now actually and will post more on my thoughts when I've finished. The first time I read them, I think was so hooked on the story that I just wanted to find out what happened. This time I'm a bit more analytical.

      I'm already irritated my Edwards propensity to directly insult Bella. Not massive insults, but calling her "silly Bella" and saying "you are absurd" when "don't be silly" or "That's absurd" would adequately get his point across, without actually insulting her as a person.

      Have just started New Moon (groan). Not sure I can put up with a couple of hundred pages of moping again though. Very tempted to just skip that section, or I might throttle something.

      Another thing I've noticed (accepting that I have only seen the first 2 films so cant comment on Eclipse or Breaking Dawn) is that the books actually have quite a bit of humour in them, which I'd forgotten. The films don't and are very serious. In fact the only humour in the films seems to be completely unintentional; the whole cinema laughed out loud at the scene where Bella is running through the forest as a vampire!

    2. My TA is a big Twilight fan and a feminist researcher with a degree in women's studies, and I had a chance (finally -- I've wanted to talk about this with her for months, actually) to discuss Twilight with her. Her love for the novels (and later the fanfics) came from her attraction to the eternal love / love conquers all theme, and she says that it's influenced her own views when thinking about the issue of love. She's emphatic, however, about them being non-feminist (as opposed to anti-feminist, which would be a different thing).

    3. I don't claim to have any such education as your colleague, but (if I am understanding the terms correctly) I would agree with her assessment. I also agree that's it's about epic love. Stephanie Meyer mas the ability to make the reader feel exactly what Bella is, which is very appealing.

      Thanks to their optimistic tone, I would also venture that they're a good deal healthier than some so-called classic romances, like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind. The last 2 I would actually classify as hate stories and have never been able to comprehend what is romantic about them.

      I finished the Twilight books and put my full thoughts down here http://cswinchester.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/trouble-with-twilight.html

      I'd be interested in hearing your (and her) thoughts. You always make me see things from a different perspective, and with her educational background, I'd be interested to hear if she thinks I'm way off base.

  2. Thanks, Cat, for pointing out some of the issues here. I think this is most definitely NOT a giant leap forward for womankind.
    I really think with all the focus on appearance these days (it has gotten worse since I was in puberty), this is just one more way to keep girls towing the line of 'sex object.'
    Not my idea of progress for humankind.

  3. I don't think the author can even defend her own story. I have asked her to comment on this and she has clearly refused

    Then in this BBC interview (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17768823 I don't know if it'll let you watch outside of the UK) the interviewer asks outright if she isn't playing into the rise in violent pornography, and all she keeps saying is "it's a love story, it's a love story, at its heart it's a love story." She never actually answers his question. To be honest, I don't even get the impression that she knows what the realities of BDSM are.

    I like it when women are portrayed as sexual beings who enjoy sex, rather than as people who have sex done to them, but this is f*ed up and sets the women's movement back decades.

    I guess like so much of modern life, superficial is what sells. It doesn't matter if your marriage is crumbling, as long as no one else knows. It doesn't matter if the country is going to hell in a handbasket, as long as no one mentions it and everyone tows the party line.

    To many people it doesn't matter what sort of person you are either (good, bad, intelligent, dumb) as long the exterior is pleasing. I think even men are starting to feel the pressure to look good, but I would rather we were *all* valued for who we were, rather than simply being accepted or not based on superficial looks.

  4. Paradoxically, it seems that the more information or entertainment we have thrown at us, the more we tend to allow someone else to formulate what it all means for us. We should be thinking for ourselves, instead of following the crowd.
    That's what disturbs me about this book. It pushes BDSM into the mainstream, and that's bound to push the herd mentality into new realms of 'normal.'
    Putting on appearances is human nature, I guess. We all want to seem like we have it all together and be proud of ourselves. But the focus has become rather intensely shallow as it pertains to physical appearance. Something seems out of wack. Why has this ramped up, I wonder? Because we have the technology, money, and time? Liposuction, plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, diet pills, designer clothes for babies, etc.
    Guess that's another topic.

    1. "That's what disturbs me about this book. It pushes BDSM into the mainstream, and that's bound to push the herd mentality into new realms of 'normal.'"

      Me too. Thanks to the innate sexism in society, that tells we should be helpful and accommodating, many women already have a hard time saying no, and not just in sexual situations. I cant help but imagine a boyfriend pressuring his girlfriend into trying BDSM and using this book as proof that she is 'abnormal' if she wont try it.

      Studies have already proven that access to hard core porn on the internet is leading boys and men to expect things which were once considered abnormal or unusual, like anal sex. With women's porn now saying the same thing to us, how many women will feel pressured into acts they aren't comfortable with?

      "But the focus has become rather intensely shallow as it pertains to physical appearance. Something seems out of wack. Why has this ramped up, I wonder?"

      I think it can all be traced to advances in visual media. First print media led women to tighten corsets until they had a hand span waist. Then TV came along and younger, prettier women were displayed, even more for us to live up to.

      Then came surgical enhancements, making us feel that we all needed to have Barbi's figure. Finally Hi-Def and photoshop is now turning women who are ageing gracefully into like free beauties and those who do have "real" figures into smaller, thinner blemish free versions of themselves

      It was bad enough having to live up to real beauties if you weren't overly blessed in that department. How can we possibly live up to these photoshopped images?

      As I say, men are now starting to feel the pressure too as Hollywood wants toned, buff men with six-packs and bulging biceps front and centre. The fat, short, bald men are the bad guys, the goofs or the fall-guy.

      Instead of a rebellion against artificial depictions of beauty, now everyone is feeling the pressure.

      I'm pleased by proposed legislation (over here at least) that seeks to cut down on the amount of photoshop used in ads, has already banned some ads and seeks to make it more transparent when photoshop has been used, but I feel we are quite a few years away from a true rebellion.

      Paradoxically, the internet had made it possibly to communicate in a world and be taken at face value (if you'll pardon the pun). We can be who we want here, using fake names that wont give away our gender or ethnicity if we want, and using cartoon or celebrity avatars to hide our looks. People have no choice then but to see is for our opinions (good or bad) and judge accordingly.

      Of course, we cant judge who doesn't tip after a meal, leaves the toilet seat up and never holds a door open for the man or women behind them, but it's better than simply being a face with a nice rack or six-pack.

    2. I don't think we can really blame her for pushing BDSM into the mainstream -- or at least, I remember people blaming Madonna for that back in the mid-1980s.

    3. I don't think Madonna actually glamorised sexual violence but perhaps more importantly, she didn't try to pass it off as romance, just casual sex.

      I think that's my biggest hate with this series, that this series to say that causing pain to another human being is a loving thing to do.

      I understand that practitioners of BDSM confine their activities to the bedroom and don't usually go on to commit crime. I accept that is is no longer recognised as a psychological condition but rather a sexual fetish.

      However I take umbrage when it is portrayed as loving behaviour. I fail to see how anyone in love can take pleasure in causing the object of their affection pain or humiliation?

      TBH, I don't think EL James really understands the dynamics in play with BDSM, and I really don't think she had a clue what she was writing about.

  5. I'm confused and curious. Did you actually read the books?

    1. No. I refuse to spend money on anything which promotes and glamorises sexual violence, especially when it's against women.

    2. ... Wait. So you've concluded that "This book isn't about kinky sex though, it's about sado-masochism" -- but you haven't read it? Are you for serious?

      I also want to know what the difference between "kinky sex" and "sadomasochism" is?

      I'm not really sure you have any idea "what the realities of BDSM are", either? I can't be certain about the differences between the kink communities in the States and across the pond (I think the legalities are different and a lot of communities are more open over here), but there is nothing about the acronym "BDSM" that mandates that it include ALL things, and there's considerable variety between bondage, discipline, dominance/submission, and sadomasochism. I'm also flabbergasted that you assume that there are no female dom/male submissive pairings. (Dude. Irene Adler in "Sherlock" is a dominatrix?)

      Frankly, I loathe these books, and I think you're right on one important point: the author hasn't a bloody clue what consensual means, and doesn't at all understand the dynamics she's writing about. What she's managed to write about isn't BDSM. But,

      I'm equally perplexed as to how you would know that, since you haven't read it?

    3. It is perfectly possible to understand a subject without directly experiencing it. Because I have never held public office does that mean that I cannot have an opinion on politics? I got a B in English Literature, despite being dyslexic and without ever reading a single book we were assigned. Somehow I still managed to grasp the subject matter and understand the books, without actually reading them, which is what I have done here.

      I have discussed this book in depth with 4 separate people who have read it (or all three), two of whom are university professors (one a psychology professor), as well as reading many online reviews and opinion pieces.

      The difference between kinky sex and sadomasochistic sex is simple. Kinky sex is viewed as abnormal (shoe or foot fetishes, tie and tease, exhibitionism and public sex, swinging etc) but which doesn't harm the participants physically or emotionally. Sadomasochistic sex is sex where one partner derives pleasure from inflicting pain, and the other allows themselves to be caused pain.

      As for understanding the realities of BDSM, I believe I did say that I have tried most things before I decide I don't like it, and I guess I thought that most people would be able to take from that that I have tried BDSM. I was trying to spare my own blushes but if I have to spell it out, I will. I haven't always been a mild mannered author and I have tried it, and I used to know a lot of other f*ed up people who have tried it too, and got in far deeper than I ever did (I don't find pain a turn on, but I had such low self esteem that I allowed it anyway).

      "but there is nothing about the acronym "BDSM" that mandates that it include ALL things, and there's considerable variety between bondage, discipline, dominance/submission, and sadomasochism. "

      Uh, yes, by definition, practitioners of BDSM practice bondage, domination and sado-machochism. If not, they would have a bondage fetish, or a domination fetish, or just be sadists or masochists, rather than being practitioners of BDSM. Granted, there are many acts which are optional/additional, such as humiliation, voyeurism, fisting, swinging, etc. There are also many choices for how the pain in inflicted, most people think of whips and paddles, but there some prefer burning with cigarettes or candles. However, all those practices that you listed are all an integral part of practising BDSM.

      "I'm also flabbergasted that you assume that there are no female dom/male submissive pairings."

      See, now I think that you didn't even read the blog (yet obviously you felt free to comment on it too!), because i mention that myself and wonder if the books would be as popular were the normal gender roles reversed in such a fashion. And yes, it is equally f*ed up, no matter which gender is deriving pleasure from causing another pain, which I also said in the blog. And FYI, called FemDom. I have tried that too, and was total rubbish at it, because I don't like hurting people.

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  7. I think that bdsm to an extent is fine if both parties are consensual AND getting pleasure. That's the thing...many people including myself don't understand how someone can get pleasure from being humiliated mentally/physically but some people do. I don't think they should be criticized for that I mean everyone should have a free choice when it comes to how they have sex and what the roles are in their relationship. This book really isn't for kids though and any normal sensible parents would not let their kids read it...but I think adults would understand that sexuality is complex everything isn't black and white. I haven't read the books though so I'm not sure does the book show that the woman is enjoying the fetish sex or is she simply submitting to her boyfriend? If she isn't enjoying it then I think that is wrong, but some women as well as some men for that matter do like having the submissive role in their sex/relationship with their partner and I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. if the book depicts the male character being forcefully abusive towards the girl...then that's a problem but from what I've heard the book depicts two people who willingly try different things in their sex life and those include consensual bdsm. also, comparing bdsm to people who self-harm is false.. it is bad for people to self-harm because it is an indication of an underlying psychological problem. it is almost universally agreed upon by psychologists that bdsm or bdsm fantasies are not an indication of a psychological problem and are just a fetish type sexual outlet from which one may derive pleasure. if it's not harming the man and woman involved (and it's not if they both want it in a sexual way that will be mutually satisfying), then i see nothing wrong with it and from what i've heard that is what this novel depicts.

    1. "His arms are wrapped around me, and he’s pulling me to him, hard, fast, gripping my ponytail to tilt my head up, kissing me like his life depends on it … He drags the hair tie painfully out of my hair, but I don’t care. He needs me, for whatever reason, at this point in time, and I have never felt so desired and coveted."

      She submits because she loves him and that is what he wants, not because she wants to be submissive or she enjoys the pain that he is causing her.

      And I reiterate once again, I fail to see how anyone in love can want to cause the person they love pain for their own gratification.

      If it's just lust, I can understand that, but love seeks to nurture and wants what is best for the person you love, not what is sexually gratifying for ones self.

      Had this book just been about kinky sex, I wouldn't have such a problem with it but because it is being described as a love story, that is a dangerous message to send to women.

      As to kids reading it, most boys by the age on 13 have viewed some kind of porn on the internet. It really isn't that hard for kids to get their hands on anything these days, and that does not mean that their parents are to blame, simply that the internet has made access to all kinds of age restricted material much easier. I have little doubt that there are thousands of illegal copies of this book circulating on the internet, completely free and accessible to any child with a modicum of intelligence.

      I dare say that I could find and download a free copy myself in under 2 minutes with a simple google search.

  8. I wrote a new novel. It is Fifty Shades for the assertive woman. Its the reverse scenario of a submissive intern guy and his dominant female boss.
    Here's the link:


    1. I fail to see how a woman deriving sexual gratification from causing pain to a man is any better. Assertiveness is not about dominating a scenario, it's about allowing everyone to take something from it.

      Also as a feminist, this is not what feminism is all about. We don't want to overthrow men and take the power for ourselves, grinding them down as they did to us, we simply want our fair share of the power, AKA equality.

      Although, as long as you aren't portraying this relationship as true love, then it is an improvement on 50 Shades.

  9. Thank you so much Catherine for telling the truth about the extremely horrible sexualized,eroticizedand normalized,sexist,male violence towards women,dangerous,sick,woman-hating Fifty Shades Of Grey books!

    I have a blog,and the name is,50shadesofharm. I have found tons more excellent feminist(including a few men, some are bad reviews from Amazon.com where men(many women Amazon.com reviewers said these things too) recognize what a violent abusive woman-hater Christian Grey is and how Ana is portrayed as an unimportant submissive insecure masochist who learns to like the sadistic sexual torture to please him who she incomprehensibly loves! others reviews said that Ana is portrayed as being tortured and liking it and this is a really dangerous message to send to men and women but especially to men,and they said they are afraid it's going to be an instruction manual for men to do violence against women,and end up in the hands of angry men,and others said could this be why we have so many sexual violent predators out there today) strong condemning and critical analysis of these extremely horrible sexualized,normalized sexist,sick,woman-hating,male violence against women,dangerous horrendous Fifty Shades Of Grey books,since I started the blog,but I haven't posted them on there yet. I would love to post them on here in this topic,but I have so much you might feel it's too much at once and it's almost like spamming which I'm not trying to do. If you are interested in my information,then please let me know. And your article,50 Shades Of Grey And The Erotization Of Male Dominance is great and I passed it on to other anti-pornography anti-violence feminist educators.

    I have even found post by women whose abusive husbands and boyfriends bought this horrible book and it influenced their abuse towards them further! And what is even more horrifying is ABC news reported last summer and it's still on their site,that Fifty Shades is causing a new baby boom,how wonderful to know that babies are being made out of a sadistic violent woman-hating book! And on ehow this extremely disturbing information,

    What Should You Name Your Baby?
    Studies show names have lifelong impact
    Help Picking Names for Parents-to-Be
    Parents can shout a name as though they were calling their child in for dinner to see if it sounds right, says Janet Ozzard, executive editor of Babycenter.com. She also suggests how you’ll explain the family genesis of the name.

    After the popularity of the erotica book “50 Shades of Grey,” for example, Ozzard says there was a rise in children named Ana and Christian, characters in the book, and even the name Grey itself. That's sure to be an interesting conversation one day.

    Other considerations should include nickname potential -- both wanted and unsolicited -- what words can rhyme with your child’s name, how a given name sounds with your surname, spelling and how the name will sound when said along with the names of siblings.

    Read more: What Should You Name Your Baby? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/feature_12257921_should-name-baby.html#ixzz2NL7sOyWj

    And this from the great important British blog called,50 Shades Is Domestic Abuse,

    Please Click On This Link http://50shadesisdomesticabuse.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=13862843
    From The Great Important British Site,50 Shades Is Domestic Abuse and see these totally disturbing and as the site says,Horrifying Products Based On Fifty Shades! There are pictures of Tee Shirts Baby Onesies that say, I Pretend That Christian Grey Is My Daddy and there is an image of two handcuffs! Another one for babies says,All Mommy Wanted Was A Night With Mr.Grey! Another says,9 Months Ago Mommy Read Fifty Shades Of Grey! Another baby shirt says,I'm A Fifty Shades Baby!

  10. There are shirts ,rings and key chains for women that say things like,I Cry Because Christian Grey Is Fictional and it has a chain with a metal heart shaped pendant! Another is a Woman wearing a tank top that says in big letters,I SLEPT WITH CHRISTIAN GREY! A ring that says Mrs. Christian Grey with a pink image of a heart,there is a man's Tee shirt that says,LET ME BE YOUR CHRISTIAN GREY and there are also two handcuffs! A key chain that has an image of a red heart and it says,I (with the heart) Christian Grey.And a picture of a young woman(you just see her top like in the other images) wearing a sweatshirt that says,PROPERTY OF CHRISTIAN GREY EST.2012 SEATTLE WASHINGTON which is the city and state that the story is supposed to take place in! Another Woman's V neck Tee shirt says,WILL YOU BE MY CHRISTIAN GREY? It has an image of a woman's lips on the right side,and two handcuffs on the left side! Another short sleeve woman's top says,PROPERTY OF 50 and under it it says,CHRISTIAN GREY.
    Here Are Pictures Of Posters in Preston shops By This Site Warning People Of The Normalisation Of Abuse in 50 Shades Books


  11. http://antipornfeminists.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/another-example-of-how-meaningless-consent-culture-is/#comments
    A poster says that Fifty Shades Of Grey is probably one of the most disgusting,violence-glorifying pieces of "literature" she's come across since de Sade! This was in response to a news story about a sadistic man into bondage who was inspired by the very horrible dangerous Fifty Shades Of Grey to beat his girlfriend who "consented" to what she thought was "milder" spanking!

  12. http://liberationcollective.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/on-50-shades-of-grey-and-the-erotization-of-male-domination/

    50 Shades Of Grey And The Erotization Of Male Dominance by Smashesthep


  13. Home
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    50 Shades is Domestic Abuse

    This website has been set up to campaign against the "50 Shades of Grey" book series. These books have been portrayed as a erotic fiction and have gained total acceptability throughout popular culture. As campaigners, workers, women who have experienced domestic abuse and preventers of violence against women, we stand up to say these books are not erotic fiction, but the full reality of domestic abuse. Putting the series as erotic fiction gives it credibility that it does not deserve. These books portray sexual, emotional, physical and psychological violence and abuse as not only normal, but as something to aspire to. As people committed to the eradication of violence against women we reject the normalising of abuse these books are perpetuating and we call you to join us.

    Join us in fighting back!

    You can download a book cover here which you can print and place in the shops where you find them. Please take pictures/videos of books you have covered and post them on twitter and/or facebook and email them to us and we will upload them to our website photo album.

    We can make a difference and see these books publically becoming unacceptable to read! We can do this! Join us!

    Create a free website at Webs.com


  14. Sunsara Taylor's Blog

    Monday, July 16, 2012
    BAsics Bus Tour hits NYC -- AND I'm protesting 50 Shades of Grey tonight!

    I am absolutely thrilled that the BAsics Bus Tour is kicking off officially today here in NYC. This time there are two full 30 foot RV's and two dozen volunteers from around the country. They are impressive and they are taking out the most liberating and inspiring and practical solution to the problems of the world: all the way communist revolution as re-envisioned by Bob Avakian. Even more specifically, they are promoting BAsics from Bob Avakian and other work of his. I know from the last leg of the Tour, which went down South, as well as from my broader experience in and knowledge of the movement for revolution that this opens up tremendous enthusiasm, hopes, profound questions and contributions from many kinds of people. Stay in touch with the blog: basicsbustour.tumblr.com to stay up to the minute on how this Tour is going.

    Also, tonight I will be hitting the streets with a small crew of folks from the movement to End Pornography & Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women to protest an event that is celebrating 50 Shades of Grey. It is called, "50 Shades of Seduction" sponsored by Sidebar in Manhattan. They are offering drink specials (50% of Grey-tinis) and a class on S&M. We will be outside passing out fliers and holding signs which read:

    50 Shades of Grey: Bad for Women, Bad for Sex!

    As we put it in our announcement for this protest:

    We'll be calling on people to reject the view of women and of sex that is promoted in the book, not to imitate and celebrate those views.

    50 Shades of Grey glamorizes the story of a powerful man hurting a woman who cares for him using riding whips, chains, paddles and violently degrading sex. This is not 'just fantasy.' This does harm.

    Every day millions of women around the world are hurt through the real-world acts of rape, battery, sexual slavery, pornography and sexual abuse. Women should be fighting to end their oppression and degradation, not celebrating it or seeking to get 'in on' their own objectification, commodification and degradation.

    50 Shades of Grey is also bad for sex. More space needs to be opened up for people to imagine and experience the full richness of sex between mutually respectful and equal partners. Instead, this book pushes people to get over their discomfort and wallow in degradation and enslavement.

    Labels: 50 Shades of Grey, commodification of women, pornography, protest, sex, women

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    posted by Sunsara Taylor at 2:18 PM

    Chloe's Mom said...
    I hope it was a success! :)

    7/19/12 3:28 PM

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    About Me

    Name: Sunsara Taylor
    Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution Newspaper, a host of WBAI's Equal Time for Freethought, and sits on the Advisory Board of World Can't Wait. She has written on the rise of theocracy, wars and repression in the U.S., led in building resistance to these crimes, and contributed to the movement for revolution to put an end to all this. She takes as her foundation the new synthesis on revolution and communism developed by Bob Avakian. You can find her impressive verbal battles with Bill O'Reilly and various political commentary on things from abortion to religion to cultural relativism by searching “Sunsara Taylor” on youtube.

    View my complete profile


  15. http://sunsara.blogspot.com/search/label/sadism
    Sunsara Taylor's Blog

    Thursday, June 21, 2012
    "50 Shades of Grey": Bad for Women! Bad for Sex!


    Tuesday, June 26 at Revolution Books in NYC
    7-9:30 pm
    146 West 26th Street, NYC
    hosted by Sunsara Taylor and the project to
    End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement & Degradation of Women

    50 Shades of Grey: Bad for Women! Bad for Sex!
    50 Shades of Grey portrays a virginal college grad falling for a stunningly wealthy, controlling, powerful and troubled man who insists on totally owning her and getting off while hurting her with riding whips, chains, paddles and violently degrading sex. Despite her tears, deep isolation and confusion she comes to find this fulfilling and enjoyable.

    Millions of copies of this book have been sold and everyone has been buzzing about what it means that women are attracted to this fantasy.

    In reality, the attraction to this "fantasy" is not shocking. It's only different by a matter of degree from the common romance novel or fairy tail that women have been indoctrinated with their whole lives: a young, virginal and insecure woman somehow attracts a man who she "doesn't deserve." He is powerful, jealous, moody and controlling. She is frightened, but the more she submits the more she sees abuse is just how he shows his love. Finally, she is made "worthy" because he wants to possess her.

    The only thing new this time is that she has to sign a contract that refers to her as "The Submissive" and he buys her platinum and diamond jewelry to cover her bruises.

    This is harmful!

    It is bad for women - at a time when, under the guise of "post-feminism" women are once again being pushed to embrace the role of "breeder" or "sex object," this book reinforces and makes appealing the idea that women should be owned and controlled by men.

    It's bad for sex - at a time when more space needs to be opened up for people to imagine and experience the full richness of what sex can be between mutually respectful and equal partners, this book pushes people to get over their discomfort and wallow in sex as degradation and enslavement.

    NOTE: You do not have to have read the book to participate!
    Labels: 50 Shades of Grey, anti-pornography, bondage, male domination, objectification, patriarchy, sadism, sexuality, women's liberation

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    posted by Sunsara Taylor at 4:26 PM

    Sekji Ani said...
    Can't understand why this book is so popular. Your summary of the book sounds like a 2012 version of Justine, and the Story of O.

    7/31/12 1:22 PM

    Post a Comment


  16. http://karnythia.tumblr.com/post/24889767867/50-shades-of-domestic-violence
    11 June 2012
    50 Shades of Domestic Violence
    I keep meaning to do a proper post where I go through all the DV checklists & find examples in the 50 Shades series. But that requires me to re-read all three books & I’m not about that life. So we’ll go with controlling behavior & Ana’s inner thoughts and feelings. Anyone with a stronger stomach is welcome to tackle Christian’s belittling & violent behavior. I made it through these two checklists & now my soul hurts. These books are awful on so many levels, but the worst part to me is that this is supposed to a romantic escape from reality. There’s nothing romantic about watching someone go through the cycles of abuse, until she gives up & gives into his every whim.

    Does your partner:

    act excessively jealous and possessive?

    Shortly after their first meeting Christian follows Ana to a night club where he sees her being kissed by her friend Jose. He gets angry at her and the friend despite the fact that he has no romantic relationship with Ana at that point. For the rest of the book, any mention of Jose upsets him.

    control where you go or what you do?

    One of the ways Christian expresses his concern for Ana’s well being is by demanding that she tell him where she’s going and when. He uses the GPS chip in her phone to track her movements, and follows her when she leaves town to visit her mother in order to press his case for a sexual relationship once again.

    keep you from seeing your friends or family?

    Christian talks Ana into signing a non disclosure agreement about their relationship before telling her he wants her to be sexually submissive. As a result of that agreement she can’t legally confide in anyone about the nature of their relationship. The secrecy is a strain, and rather than lie to anyone she has to continually turn to him with anything that concerns her about what he wants from her.

    limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?

    Christian decides he doesn’t like the look of Ana’s classic car. He buys her a new one, and badgers her into agreeing to sell her vehicle. After she sells her car, Christian continuously tries to find reasons to keep her from driving the new car he’s purchased for her.

    constantly check up on you?

    Christian emails Ana constantly, and gets upset when she doesn’t respond on his timetable. He admits to using her phone to track her movements, and makes jokes about stalking her.

    Do you:

    feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
    Ana is constantly worried about Christian being angry with her & is hesitant to speak up or push back when he gets upset. Even when she does fight back she usually folds in a matter of minutes & gives him what he wants.

    avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
    There are too many examples to list. Ana spends more time managing his emotions than she does taking care of her own.

    feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
    Christian wants a submissive partner & refuses to accept that Ana is not submissive. She keeps trying because she loves him & he uses that to hurt her.

    believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
    Ana decides Christian’s so perfect that there must be something wrong with her every time they have a fight. This guy takes over her life, punishes her sexually for not being at home when a would be kidnapper shows up (he was wrong, she saved herself by going out with a friend & that seems to upset him the most), and Ana somehow winds up convinced it’s her fault too.

    wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
    Ana spends a lot of time confused, upset, & crying, but she doesn’t seem to connect that with Christian’s treatment of her. Instead she focuses on what she thinks she’s doing wrong in their relationship & strives to normalize his antics.


  17. http://karnythia.tumblr.com/post/24889767867/50-shades-of-domestic-violence

    feel emotionally numb or helpless?
    Ana can’t even manage to stay angry with Christian. She’s so numb that when he embarrasses her at work in a bid to get her to change her last name she agrees to do it despite her own feelings on the matter. She comes the closest to being able to stay mad at him at the end of the 3rd book & even then she forgives him again.

    trigger warning
    50 shades of shit
    domestic violence

    trigger warning


  18. http://coffeeandprozac.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/50-shades-of-domestic-violence

    50 Shades Of Domestic Violence On Coffee & Prozac blog a social worker Kel also discusses and explains how the Fifty Shades Of Grey normalizes, and romanticizes domestic violence against women by the male character in the books. Two women posted in the comments that their husbands abused them and bought the book for them!

    Her friend Jennifer Armintrout also posts recaps of chapters pointing out the domestic violence in the books.A woman named Christina, said her abusive husband bought her the book because his friend's wife loved it.She said she forced herself to read it's awful.She says she was horrified over the scenes when he punished her and over all of the times that he tells her she is his.She said she felt like she wanted to rip the book into a million pieces as soon as she was done.She said it's been a few days and she's still upset over it.She said she thinks it needs to have a warning label on it so that women who are victims of DV should think twice before reading it.
    Another woman Jen,said,thanks for writing this.My husband who has been abusive bought me this book. Clearly he thinks that my reading it will inspire some new level of "intimacy". She says,I have avoided purchasing this book for the very reasons you stated.If I wanted to read about domestic violence I'd read my own life story.I don't need to see domestic violence worshipped and praised just because it's in a mainstream novel.

  19. 50 Shades is Domestic Abuse

    Blog Fifty Shades: A Male Perspective

    Posted by natalie on September 9, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    By Andrew Cowley

    I first became aware of 50 Shades in the US on a family holiday last Easter. We were in Boston, one of the most literate and creative cities in the States, and there was an article in the Boston Globe about this phenomenon- they called it 'mummy porn', and explained that what had started as an e-book had become such a talking point amongst California housewives that the text went to print. Later that day several of the bookshops had displays of all three volumes. I dismissed this as an American trend, but on returning to the UK discovered that it was on sale here and that ELJames was a Brit.

    Now for any writer, word of mouth recommendation, the 'Tube Book of the Moment', and people following a trend is manna from heaven. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, One Day, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, the Millenium Trilogy and of course the Harry Potter series all sold, it could be argued, in the volumes they did because of this particular channel of communication.

    In my school, leading the English curriculum for many years, I have always struggled to convince some colleagues of the value of reading. I am regularly dismissed as 'boring' because I read. In the summer term however Fifty Shades took off and copies were being passed around the staffroom between teachers and support staff, and conversation about the 'raunchy bits' dominated lunch and break times. I am no prude, but I found the way in which these were described in conversation bawdy at best, uncomfortable at its worse.

    An initial thought was 'at least they're reading' even if it was only because everyone else was. We are in a more sexually liberated and egalitarian society than some decades ago, and women are just as entitled to talk about sex as men so often do. However the more that I listened to conversations, it made me realise that these were not just 'books with some shagging'! I haven't read them, but have seen enough on blogs, in synopses, and being next to a woman on the plane this summer reading it, where the words 'he tied me up, and f***ed me hard up the a***' caught my eye. I am no literary facist either; people need to make their own minds up about what they read.

    I used to work in the City of London, and a more sexist, mysogenist and repressive atmosphere couldn't be imagined. Extra-marital affairs seemed not only the norm, but compulsory, strippers brought in for birthdays, and there was always someone who appeared to be the source of hard core, illegal and quite depraved pornography. As a young man, single and I was told 'not bad looking' it was assumed that every woman I spoke to I was trying to get into bed. Any notion that I was talking to them as friends or equals was beyond many people. When I moved onto teaching, my true vocation, it was assumed that it was to 'take advantage' of the fact that 95% or more of primary teachers are female.

    So, we can see; deeply held opinions about the role of women from a large section of men in UK society. Which brings us back to Fifty Shades. This site is designed to campaign against domestic abuse encouraged in this book. There is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that behaviours and attitudes amongst women are changing as a result of these books and that some of the things that the female lead allows to be done to her are becoming commonplace. Yes I did write 'allows to be done to her'; in an era of Germain Greer and Erica Jong I perhaps mistakenly thought that this was a thing of the past.


  20. Consider this alongside the evidence that teenagers and even younger children are getting their sexual education from internet pornography, and that threesomes, anal intercourse, and encouraging girls to experiment in faux lesbian sex are regarded by many younger people as acceptable, as too it would seem is the use of violence in sexual conduct, or the use of it if sex is refused. As a father to two pretty daughters, that concerns me, though my wife and I have encouraged them to be tough, independent and to know their own minds.

    I have a writers blog and have included three parodies of Fifty Shades, as a bit of gentle mocking of the tastes of some of my colleagues. Most of them I am sure are reading it for some light relief, but there are others, I am quite convinced, who would participate in such activity.

    Domestic violence, sexual violence, rape. Its not rocket science to say it is unacceptable. None are about sex, they are about power. The one time I served on a jury, we convicted a man of rape, of his own sister believe it or not, but that was about power within a family, and not about sex, even though it was a sexual act. He objected to the majority of women, tried to appeal to the feelings of the three of us, not realising we were of similar opinions to each other, probably more strongly held than some of our female jurors.

    It would be naive to suggest that the sexual revolution has ended abuse of women by men, though it has highlighted it's existence. Regretably similar attitudes are held by some men in teaching- a former male colleague for example tried it on with parents and teachers, especially if vulnerable- recently separated for example- on one occasion having admitted to bedding a teacher 20 years his senior, announcing that 'the plumbing is still in full working order'. Gruesome!

    I have few close male friends, mainly because I don't associate myself with attitudes like that one so described. I have many close female friends, strong, intelligent and beautiful; my former colleagues and a number of other men couldn't get that concept, and of the loyalty and fidelity that goes with it.

    I am not alone in this though. There are plenty of like minded men out there who would not dream for one minute of treating a woman in such an abusive way. The behaviours that Fifty Shades encourages may only be acted out by a minority, but one case will be one too many. I sincerely hope that the legacy of this trilogy is just in the volume of book sales, and not in a case of someone meeting an untimely end as a result of what it seems to make acceptable.

    Andrew Cowley is a 47 year old father of two teenaged girls, and has been married for nearly 18 years. He is a primary school teacher in South East London and in his spare time is a cook, gardener, film goer and avid reader, as well as a prospective writer.

    He blogs at: http://supposeshakespearestartedthiswaytoo.blogspot.co.uk/ and you can find him on twitter: @andrew_cowley23


  21. http://madamjmo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fifty-shades-of-subtlety.html
    Pop culture, feminism and suffragettes

    Wednesday, 8 August 2012
    Fifty Shades of Subtlety


    PS – I’ve deliberately avoided mentioning the many reasons why this book is a feminist’s worst literary nightmare. The contracted ownership, coupled with the stalking, mental and physical abuse, and more… it’s appalling to see the mainstream acceptance of such behaviour in 2012, at a time when we should be further ahead than ever in putting an end to this degrading treatment of women. But there are many other people, far better qualified than me to speak on such matters, who have already written about this so well in relation to these books.

    Posted by Jane at Wednesday, August 08, 2012
    Email This Blog This! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook

    1 comment:

    tenderhooligan9 August 2012 20:09
    OH. MY. DAYS. I've flicked through it, and read a few paragraphs here and there, and that was enough for me. Your description above confirms that I make the right decision in putting that one back!

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    About me

    I’m a Bristol-based author, editor and feminist activist. I'm also available for freelance proofreading etc work – arketino.blogspot.co.uk If you would

  22. From the great important *feminist* site on pornography's many sexist,violent,dehumanizing,woman-hasting harms, Anti-Pornography.org

    "Fifty Shades Of Grey" Harm-Violence Against Women,Mental,Emotional,and Physical Abuse,Domestic Violence,Sadomasochism etc


  23. Sunderland Echo


    50 Shades of Anger – Sunderland domestic violence charity calls for erotic novel to be burned

    Clare Phillipson is leading a campaign against the Fifty Shades of Grey series of books which she says could encourage abuse.

    Published on Thursday 23 August 2012 09:26

    BIN this “disgusting” book – a campaign against saucy saga Fifty Shades has been launched amid claims it incites violence towards women

    The erotic books, which carry strong sadism and masochism themes, became the fastest-selling paperbacks of all time when they were released earlier this year and have been flying off the shelves ever since.

    But Clare Phillipson, director of the women’s refuge, today called for the trilogy – led by Fifty Shades of Grey – to be binned.

    “It’s absolutely disgusting,” she told the Echo. “It normalises abuse, degrades women and encourages sexual violence.

    “With it being in the media so much many men and women have rushed out to buy it, and many have come to me and told me how distressed they are by what’s written.

    “Passages in it are about women submitting to men, obeying their orders and violence being used in a sexual and erotic manner. It’s disgusting and sends out the wrong message.”

    Clare said the books also send out a confusing message to vulnerable women about how they should behave sexually.

    “I’ve come across people who have been confused by it, people who have been enraged by it and others that are bewildered.

    “Some women come away thinking ‘is this how I should be behaving in the bedroom’ and ‘is there something wrong with me because I’m not’ and that’s not right.

    “It sends out the idea that this kind of Mr Rochester character is a heroic romantic and masculine in his domination.

    “Really he controls the powerless, unworldly girl who must submit to his temper. It is not how a relationship between a man and woman should be.”

    Today, Wearside Women in Need is launching its Fifty Shades of Abuse campaign and is urging anyone who has bought the book to bin it.

    The charity plans on collecting all of the books until November 5, when it will hold a bonfire and burn the books in protest against the content.

    Clare said: “In this day and age, books like this should not be written.

    “They send out the wrong message and are in fact encouraging abuse, sexism and misogyny.”

    A spokeswoman for Random House, which publishes the series, said: “The Fifty Shades trilogy is a work of romantic fiction and the sex scenes in the book are entirely consensual and the woman involved is a willing participant.”

    The books can be dropped off at bins at Wearside Women in Need’s head office in Front Street, Concord.

    What is it?

    FIFTY Shades of Grey is an erotic novel by British author EL James.

    Set largely in Seattle, it is the first instalment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.

    It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism.

    The series, which has been dubbed mummy porn and includes Fifty Shades of Darker and Fifty Shades of Freed, has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

    It set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

    Women going wild

    WOMEN have been going wild for porn since the launch of the trashy trilogy.

    Sales of erotic literature and porn magazines rocketed by 130 per cent in July and the number of girls buying sex aids more than doubled.

    Retail bosses claim women are buying the magazines and toys after being inspired by scenes in the raunchy book.


  24. Sex shop chain Ann Summers sold out of the book six times in two weeks and reported sales of crops and whips rising by 15 per cent, blindfolds by 60 per cent and bondage ties by 35 per cent.

    Quotes from the book:

    MOST of the quotes flagged up by Wearside Women In Need were too explicit to publish. But some of them include:

    •“Lower,” he orders. “Good. Don’t let go. If you do, I’ll spank you. Understand?”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    •And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.

    •Reaching forward, he trails the tip of the crop from my forehead down the length of my nose, so I can smell the leather, and over my parted panting lips.

    •“Suck,” he commands, his voice soft. My mouth closes over the tip as I obey.

    Related Articles
    ‘If it stops one woman getting beaten up or one woman raped or staying in a relationship with someone who is treating her badly, then it’s worth being ridiculed’ – Sunderland 50 Shades of Grey campaigner

    AS tortuous as the book itself, is the argument embroiling the binning of Fifty Shades of Grey, a campaign unleashed by Clare Phillipson, boss of Wearside Women In Need.

    TV agony aunt backs campaign against 50 Shades of Grey

    DENISE Robertson is backing calls to bin erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey

    Email to a friend


  25. Fifty Shades Of Rape Culture
    By Moria Byrne Garton
    http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=33478 on Eurekastreet an Australian site.

    She quotes the editors Buchwald,Fletcher and Roth of the anthology,Transforming A Rape Culture and she says as Buchwald,Fletcher and Roth describe it,rape culture is ' a complex of beliefs than encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women':It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality violent.In a rape culture,women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape... A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrosim against women as the norm.

    Moria says further down in this article,that such a culture is emboldened by bad fiction marketed as erotica for women,(and she has this as a highlighted link that takes you to an article from an Australian news paper about the huge popularity of Fifty Shades Of Grey and they called it supermarket porn) where a female protagonist submits physically,emotionally,sexually,and financially to the control and abuse of the male hero'. THen there is the rest of this great article,and she got a lot of great supportive responses including from men.

    One of the men Edward F02 said, "An excellent article,Moria. We are certainly living in a culture which does trivialise and objectify women as people and mitigates against a normal,healthy and safe relationship between the sexes. I think more needs to be done as far as looking at the Australian situation goes in regard to success on the sporting field and the virtual deification of male sporting heroes,especially in the NFL and AFL,with the consequent female hangers on and the appalling treatment of many of them.This area would be as bad an influence as the revolting sadomasochistic pornography you mention. Perhaps the two reinforce each other in certain instances. I think there is something sick about the way some of my fellow men look at women.Mick is always practical:there are little things anyone can do which might prevent assault and rape.I think we need to redefine the current paradigm of male/female relationships in this country.It will be an enormous and uphill task but I consider it an urgent necessity. I don't think we can describe Australia as a civilised society if this sort of attitude and behavior remain untouched and unchanged."

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.


  27. I made a typing mistake,I meant the great feminist anti-pornography site Anti-Pornography.org with a lot of great information and research on the harms of pornography. There is another excellent informative anti-pornography feminist site called,Against Pornography though.org.


  28. I recently read Gloria Steinem's great important quotes on the great informative AntiPornography.org's Gloria page about how pornography sexualizes,eroticizes,and normalizes men's domination,women's submission,and men's violence and teaches that this is what sex is,and no other equal alternatives. And how she said we have to eroticize equality. And also what she says about sadomasochism being in society's where is a lot of child abuse,and also that the confusion of sex with violence is most obvious in any form of sadomasochism. I have her best selling great book since it came out in the Fall of 1983,Outrageous Acts And Everyday Rebellions and so I had a lot of her quotes from there,but I see she revised some of them in her 1995 addition and added to it.What I don't understand at all,is why hasn't she spoken out against Fifty Shades Of Grey for normalizing and sexualizing the same *exact* harmful injustices? Even one of the many women on Amazon.com who gave the book a bad review and said on every level,artistically,politically and psychologically the book is misogynistic junk and she said Gloria Steinem speak out against this crap book PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Here is quotes by Gloria on the excellent *feminist* anti-pornography educational activist site,Against Pornography.org and they have a section on Fifty Shades Of Grey Harm and how it normalizes,sexualizes and glamorizes sexual,physical,and emotional abuse and is a for of domestic violence against women and the harms of S&M.Gloria said in 2006,"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking:it normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even invitable parts of sex,and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects.The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves-porne means female slaves,eros means love-so pornography like rape is about violence and domination not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica and to disentangle violence from sexuality." This is everything this horrible Fifty Shades of Sexist,Violent,Dangerous,Damaging,Woman-Hating sexualizes,normalizes and eroticizes!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.


  30. For about 15 years I have had Shere Hite's excellent book,The Hite Report On The Family:Growing Up Under The Patriarchy in which over 1000 girls and women and over 2000 boys and men from countries all over the world,mostly from the US and then Briton, answered question surveys about their experiences growing up in a sexit gender divided,gender stereotyped,woman-hating family and society,and the messages and training they got into "feminine" and "masculine" and she addressed how sadomasochism is about confusing "love" as power and control and aggression and submission and pain and this goes back to childhood spankings and how in sadomasochistic pornography i'ts almost always the woman who experiences pain and domination of her body,and how it's a statement about the power relationship between men and women,and as she said sometimes an incitement to men to abuse women.
    She also mentions child abuse expet Alice Miller and a book,Spare The Child by Phillip Grevin about how childhood spankings get eroticized for adults and that sadomasochistic whippings and beatings by adults stems from this.


  31. amazon.com

    Daniel Billings' Profile

    Customer Reviews: 2
    Top Reviewer Ranking: 316,302
    Helpful Votes: 19

    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful

    If this is the zeitgeist, we are in serious trouble, July 17, 2012

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

    This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)

    There's been plenty of valid criticism about this book already but I wanted to weigh in with some thoughts.

    Reasonable people will agree that this book is terribly written and contains obvious logical flaws, but I think the more troubling aspects of this novel are the characters and their relationship.

    Anastasia Steele is quite simply the most unattractive woman imaginable. She has no interests, no confidence, no hobbies and barely enough love for herself to actually question whether it's acceptable for men to control her. The constant self-deprecation is bordering on self indulgent. It's ridiculous to think that Christian would have even the most remote interest in Anastasia.

    Christian Grey meanwhile is a classic misogynist sex addict who manipulates and objectifies women, which is somehow acceptable because it is codified in a legal document. Without direct knowledge or experience with BDSM culture, it is hard to believe that the relationship between Anastasia and Christian could in any way be considered healthy. Christian's language is pretentious and affected, his treatment of Anastasia is condescending and beyond controlling; he insists that she drive only a car he provides instead of a car she herself owns.

    My issue with this novel is that it somehow validates very unhealthy attitudes about gender roles. The only redeeming quality one could potentially find in Anastasia is that she is well-read; somehow she skipped over feminist literature. Anastasia feels so powerless to do anything for herself, her existence so banal that she allows herself to be controlled and even beaten just to have a man in her life. Is this the kind of character we want to define our popular literature? We have some real thinking to do if Anastasia is the voice of the modern woman.

    In summary: It's very alarming to think about the many women who have such low confidence to identify with Anastasia. A very sad reflection of our society.



  32. Customer Review

    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful

    Someone please buy the author a thesaurus!!!, July 10, 2012

    By Danny Jacobs

    This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)

    For months now I've heard nothing but amazing reviews about this book. It's all I've heard about recently. Then I started hearing all of the controversy behind it and my curiosity sucked me in. It took me five tries and much skimming to complete this horrible book.

    First let me start off - I am not a prude and the sex in this isn't what turned me off. However, that really is all there is to this book. There isn't much of a storyline at all to follow. It really is just sex and their toxic, abusive "relationship". Which brings me to how shocked I am that so many women are drooling over Christian and claiming that this book has improved their marriage. I can only assume that these are women with very low self esteem and in a very unstable and unhealthy marriage. I'm still baffled at how a mentally ill man who likes to beat women and control everything about their daily lives down to what to eat, how often to exercise and what to wear could possibly be seen as sexy or "amazing". It disturbs me on so many levels.

    Besides the lack of substance, it is also very poorly written. The author really needs a thesaurus. By the middle of the book I was tired of the handful of phrases/words that Ana had going on in her sad little head - "holy *expletive*", "inner goddess" and "erotic". I skimmed and skipped a lot as much of the book was very repetitive and annoying to the point that I visibly cringed and rolled my eyes.

    I'm just thankful that I didn't waste money on this sad piece of "literature". Thank goodness for the library! Unless you like reading a whole lot of nothing - don't waste your money. If you feel that you must see what all of the silly over-rated hype is about, hit up your local library. You may have to put it on hold and wait for it to be available but don't worry, you really aren't missing anything. If you loved the book - you really should read more often.


    I responded,

    Danny,you are *SO* right,thank you for being in the minority of sane people in this *insane* woman-hating world! Except you said that your'e not a prude and the sex isn't what turned you off. In this novel just like in typical visual pornography,the sadistic,woman-hating violent man's violence and brutalizing of the woman,and the male dominance and female submission,which is the epitome of sexist gender inequality, is what is sexualized,normalized and eroticized as the *SEX*!

    Please check out brilliant radical feminists like law professor Catherine MacKinnon's great book of transcribed 1980's speaches,in Feminism Unmodified,and acclaimed author John Stoltenberg's speaches also from the 1980's about this in his excellent important book,Refusing To Be A Man:Essays On Sex And Justice,he's a pro-feminist man who co-founded Men Against Pornography In New York.

    Danny Jacobs

    Top Reviewer Ranking: 364,601

    See all 2 reviews

  33. Catherine, I hope you don't mind that I posted a lot of information on here at once,and I have *a lot* more! It's just such an outrage and injustice that this horrendous book series was published,promototed.normalized and glamorized in the media and sadly and disturbingly so popular with women and now a Hollywood movie is going to normalize,sexualize and glamorize it even more!

  34. In one of the many Amazon.com reviews ,one of the reviewers said that in her first" spanking" Christian hits Ana 18 times in her own room and she's crying. Another reviewer said that he hits her so hard that he left marks on her body,but she lies to her friend and says she fell down the stairs,and the reviewer says in (Red Flag!). Another reviewer on Amazon.com UK who reviewed all 3 books,in this review of the last book,Fifty Shades Of Freed,she says that Christian hits her when she's pregnant and she says that this author has a lot to answer for and that her mind is a dark place and she never should have spewed it's contents with the world.She also said that she hopes she never writes another book,and that she needs help.Several other reviewers said that he rapes her too. I read quotes from the book of Ana saying she's a virgin,(another amazon.com reviewer who is a writer herself says that every time they had sex it was like Ana is being raped,and she too mentions him slamming into her as a virgin,and said she wanted to slap him)and that he says to her I'm going to f*ck you hard,(of course just like in the porn videos and Christian has a huge penis too just like in the porn videos,which makes it even more painful and violent,and women in porn videos are portrayed as loving it too!) and she says he slams into her and rips out her virginity and she feels a pinching pain! And another amazon.com reviewer said that every sex scene begins with Ana saying he slams into me.

    How cruel and sadistic! I guess Marlo Thomas(she is insanely a big fan of Fifty Shades and interviewed the sexist woman-hating pornography influenced author,E.L.James on her Huffington Post blog in November,I posted a lot of information against it on the harms and so did Anti-Pornography.org) didn't care,notice,or insanely liked this! And this is insane woman-hatred,cruelity,violence towards women,sexualized,normalized,glamorized,and eroticized,is what the author insanely outrageously said is bringing women and families together!? And how totally messed up and disturbing that there are women saying it's improving their sex lives with husbands and boyfriends!

  35. I have a lot of excellent important research studies on pornography and how itsexualizes,normalizes and eroticizes sexist,woman-hating,male cruelty and violence against women and the epitome of sexist gender inequality,male dominance and female submission,which Fifty Shades of Grey is a written version of all of these horrible unjust damaging things!
    I would like to post this information on here,but I won't today because it's getting be too much at once already.



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